Lombroso 's Theory Of Theory Essay

1526 Words Oct 7th, 2015 null Page
Cesare Lombroso (1972) laid the groundwork for predicting violent criminal behavior in certain segments of society with his founding of criminal anthropology. Lombroso (1972) believed that some individuals were born into criminality by inheriting certain predispositions, which were identifiable through congenital or physical anomalies known as atavistic traits. However, controversy exists around the idea that individuals prone to violent criminal behavior can be identified by their outer appearance. Can future violent offenders be identified through these types of atavistic traits? While Lombroso’s (1972) theory of atavism originated from his study of criminal anthropology, it should be viewed with extreme skepticism as it subscribes to elements of Social Darwinism which in turn can lead to both ethical issues and consequences for society.
Lombroso’s Theory of Atavism Cesare Lombroso (1972) has often been referred to as the founder of criminology due to his work being the first in the biological positivist era (Hagan, 2013). Specifically, his theory of atavism (i.e., the Lombrosian Model of Atavism) set the stage for identifying future violent criminal behavior in society (Hagan, 2013). Lombroso (1972) was able to accomplish this using a four-fold combination of earlier pre-positivist methods that included phrenology, physiognomy, palmistry, and degeneration theory (Hagan, 2013). In Lombroso’s (1972) view, each of these four methods acted as validating factors for…

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